Long-time JUICE readers probably remember our resident rant specialist, Ravin Loon, some had even asked us where the opinionated, possibly anonymous, micro columnist had gone to. Well, he hasn’t completely disappeared actually, just incredibly repressed somewhere, what not with being the living embodiment of angst and indignation. Seeing that the scene is getting slightly on the vexing side of things, we decided to let him out for a bit.
If you’re asking this question, you’re the target of this article and you’re probably an uneducated DJ (who claims to educate). It is apparent that most music listeners don’t seem to care as long as the guy up there is dropping some decent tunes, but that rationale instantly turns to shit when you see the amount of hype an international producer gets when they land on our shores.
There is no shortage of local acts. There is however, a shortage of interesting, worthwhile, and original ones because the clowns getting face time in local clubs aren’t even DJs; they’re socialites.
It’s nothing new to the music industry. Artistic integrity aside, the bottom line has and always been profit and in the name of profit, it helps when you’re connected, good looking, and/or you just happen to drink like a fish. It keeps the bar afloat.
In the aftermath of FMFA’s unfortunate shutdown, VICE Magazine brought up the fact that Malaysian producers had a long way to go while using Eva T as our star example. The only thought going in my head was “I’ve never heard of this woman.”
What they’re saying is despite Jony and the MaddKidz team holding it down for dubstep, with newcomer Kain in the fold, and Stellar Dreams representing throwback disco. Hard pressed to find music on the more eclectic side? You must have not heard of Adam Kasturi’s brand of electronic music. How about former MUSCLE//MACHINE boys VMPRMYTH and JSTN PWRS churning track after genre-bending track? One thing is for sure, you’d be hard pressed to find them headlining any of the shows that will propel their career further.
Maybe these guys aren’t adept at playing the game we all know too well to succeed in a cutthroat industry. DANGERDISKO seems to be doing pretty alright for themselves but it’s a tiny representation of the output that Malaysian producers have been bringing to the table.
The past few years we’ve come to witness the general consensus from international publications, musicians, and critics alike and it is that Electronic Music has reached a considerable level of maturity. To the point that people are pretty tired of hearing generic DJs with an overinflated sense of self torrenting the latest club hits into a two track mix. It’s easy as fuck, get over yourselves!
Sadly, this doesn’t seem to be the case in Malaysia. We demand for new, original acts yet turn a blind eye when they’re right under our very noses, hiring the next model/DJ that comes along. Damn you, Paris.
If this scene wants quality, it’s time to start demanding it on every level from the club owner, to the organiser, to the musicians themselves.
The music industry is a decaying, withering beast but I’m as tired as the next guy of hearing musicians whine about not getting their fair share. So let me berate again, demand quality at every possible level or all of us will have to continually bear witness to the ugly clichés of the Malaysian music industry.